I had another post in mind, and I’ll get to that still, because those ideas are important for me, but there is something else on my mind today that is making me dizzy with dissociation. If it makes me that scared, it must be important.

Although the two ideas are perhaps connected, so I’ll start with the first one after all.

The primary issue for someone like me is a conditioning regarding seeing the self, which distorts what is seen when you look.

We learn how to feel about a lot of things from other people. This is part of the purpose of empathy, and it allows for very efficient transmission of information via people who may have learned things the hard way. We learn to be disgusted not always because someone tells us it’s gross, but because they wrinkle their nose in a universal expression that says, “Don’t touch that.” Our body imitates their emotional reaction, and I may continue to react that way to the same stimuli later. I have “learned” how to feel about it.

Now what happens to someone like me is my mother (probably my mother) had an emotional reaction to seeing me as a baby.

Maybe she was reminded of her own relationship with her mother or she felt inadequate, but I think probably what happened is she had a very punitive approach to getting what she wanted and she was unconsciously trying to get me to help her. So she was angry. She looked at me and felt angry and as a little baby all I saw was she’s looking at me and feels angry.

So ai learned to feel angry and frightened looking at myself. This has all kinds of implications. One of them is that this was likely passed down from my mother in the first. She felt this way too. She felt angry and frightened looking at herself.

You have to be able to to look at yourself when you face problems of any kind. I get sick and I have to think, “How sick am I? Do I have a fever? Is there a rash? Are there unusual symptoms I don’t recognize?” And so on. Self-examination is necessary to plan a response.

If it’s frightening to look at yourself, that’s difficult to do. One way of coping is to get other people to look at you by behaving dramatically, and they may be able to help you figure it out for you . That may have been my mother’s way of coping and the outcome was that attention couldn’t be on someone else. In other words, not me. That would be competition.

If I couldn’t get attention, and there is already this very early and primal sense of being threatening, then my mind–which seeks coherence–is likely to connect that. I can’t get attention, because I am somehow not good. I am not likely to connect it to my mother’s desire for attention, because I don’t know about it. That’s beyond me. But I know I feel a sense of not being good. It’s easy to connect that.

Well, now I don’t see a connection…

But I have been watching old Russian TV shows for language practice and I’ve started to really enjoy them. I really like police and detective dramas and I ran out of those, so I am now onto spy stories set during World War.

I find the shows so relatable. I feel they explain part of my upbringing, although it’s a much earlier generation.

One piece is that prisoners were sometimes given a choice to serve in the military, so you have companies of soldiers who were previously criminals. I think this practice continued, and Yuri or his friends may have seen combat. The war then would have somewhere else–Afghanistan is likely.

Vory-V-Zakone were not supposed to take this option. They did not bow to any legitimate authority. But the Suki (bitches) did.

Then there is the harshness of Soviet authority. POWs in Soviet territories were not welcomed back, but treated as traitors for surrendering. Many of them ended up in Siberian gulags. I’ve seen lots of men shoot themselves rather than be captured by Germans. It’s only TV, but there is a taste of what society hopes for or expects. I can’t see a Western audience wanting to see that or perceiving it as heroic in any sense.

It reminds me of Yuri. If I imagine those are the kinds of expectations and experiences which shaped him during his early years, he makes total sense to me. And my father would have been drawn to him–my father who was dressed as a girl until the age of five. My father would have seen Yuri and thought, “Now this us a real man.”

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